Announcements and Important Events
These Grand Rapids Christian High School staff are on the Eagles Wall of Records (located in the Quest Center):
- Social Studies Teacher Joe Brower — 2000 MVP for Boys Golf
- Social Studies Teacher Paul Diekema – 1984 MVP for Boys Soccer
- Guidance Counselor Martin Grasmeyer — 1974 MVP for Boys Basketball
- Science Teacher Cheri (Feenstra) Swets — 1981 MVP for Girls Swim and Dive
- Math Teacher Mark Warners — 1987 MVP for Baseball
- Attendance Officer Amber (VanZanten) Wierenga – 1990 MVP for Girls Soccer (Note: Amber is the FIRST MVP for Girls Soccer in the history of the school!)
We asked each of them a few questions about being an Eagle athlete. This is what they said.
Sports played in high school: Baseball, Golf (each all four years 1996-2000)
The effect of high school sports on your high school experience: It allowed me to meet new people and create friendships. It also gave me a sense of school community. Furthermore, I was able to build some lifelong habits regarding an understanding of how work ethic impacts results.
The impact of being a high school athlete on your life today: I would say it does in some way. For one, understanding that I won't achieve the results I desire unless I put forth a strong effort. I also have relationships with those I played with to this day.
Faith and sports intersecting in high school: It meant something to wear the "C" and know you are representing a community of Christian values. Competitive athletic environments are an opportunity to display those values.
Hardest part of playing high school sports: For me it was definitely balancing the time of sports with the academic work. It take commitment and good time management skills.
Favorite memory: My favorite moment was when we made an unexpected run in the district tournament for baseball during my junior year. We didn't have a team expected to do much, but we upset a much better team and competed for the District title, ultimately falling short.
Sports played in high school: Soccer, Basketball, Track and Field (only 1 year)
The effect of high school sports on your high school experience: My best friends were teammates. And because soccer and track were large teams, I got to become friends with fellow Eagles that were not in my day-to-day circle.
The impact of being a high school athlete on your life today: It made me value the importance of 'whole' health. When your body is conditioned, your mind is also healthier.
Faith and sports intersecting in high school: Mostly via coaches. I was blessed to have amazing coaches (Ken Zandee/ Larry Klaasen/Ken Bokhoven/Arnold Baker/ Rich Schrotenboer) who were great role models and mentors.
Hardest part of playing high school sports: Sports were never hard, but the mid-season and late-season practices got really old, so it was tough to stay focused and motivated day-to-day, especially for a teenager.
Favorite memory: Winning. Our soccer team had some great seasons but in hoops, we had a great upset victory in basketball (in the All-City Gym) over a very strong East Kentwood squad that included future NBA player Loy Vaught. I remember the victory pile that transpired on the court after the upset in which one of our big men (Steve Korhorn), trapped at the bottom of the pile, almost suffocated. Great fun.
Sports played in high school: Basketball - 10th, 11th and 12th. There was no high school 9th grade in my day.
The effect of high school sports on your high school experience: It definitely enriched my high school experience. I gained many lasting relationships.
The impact of being a high school athlete on your life today: Basketball played a role in my actually going to college. College led to teaching and coaching opportunities.
Faith and sports intersect: Faith influenced how I conducted myself as an athlete on and off the court.
Hardest part of playing high school sports: The hardest part was balancing my academics with the demands of my sport.
Favorite memory: My favorite memory was the excitement and fanfare surrounding our run for the state championship ending in the quarter finals both my 10th and 11th grade years.
Cheri (Feenstra) Swets
Sports played in high school: Swimming (1978-79, 1979-80, 1980-81); Softball (same years as swimming)
The effect of high school sports on your high school experience: I spent a lot of time practicing and competing which made me have to use my time wisely. I was much more focused during my sports' seasons as I didn't have much spare time. Also, putting in the time and the hard work created a strong bond with my teammates, giving me a friend group both in and out of season.
The impact of being a high school athlete on your life today: Not really, although I continue to swim (although not with Covid). And I continued to play softball on my church softball team up until this past summer (no more Chr. Ref. Rec Center). I still enjoy supporting GRCHS athletics by working at swim and dive as well as volleyball events.
Faith and sports intersect: Leading team devotions when I was captain on the swim team; Having teammates' support when my mom died.
Hardest part of playing high school sports: I don't really think there was anything difficult about being on a sports team while I was in high school. Although I spent many hours in the pool or on the field, I loved the time spent with my friends and it actually made me more productive with the rest of my time. Losing was hard. I was pretty competitive and didn't like to lose, but I do think I learned how to lose a little more graciously.
Favorite memory: Competing at the state swim meet as a sophomore as part of a relay team; going to Detroit to watch the Tigers play with the softball team as I had never been to a Tigers' game before.
Sports played in high school: Cross Country, Basketball, Baseball
The effect of high school sports on your high school experience: It definitely gives you an automatic group of friends. I hung out with the Cross team in the fall, the Basketball team in the winter and the Baseball team in the Spring. It also forced me to manage my time in order to get schoolwork done.
The impact of being a high school athlete on your life today: Some of the friends I met through my high school sports experience are still my friends today.
Faith and sports intersect: There was an underlying theme about using the gifts and talents that God has given. Some of those talents are physical, and I was raised believing that we have an obligation to God to use these gifts to glorify Him by the way we play and the way we treat our opponents, coaches and teammates.
Hardest part of playing high school sports: This wasn't that bad, but the hardest part was the perception of people (students, teachers and others) thinking I was a certain way because I was an athlete.
Favorite memory: A couple:
1. Coming to the baseball diamond in the morning on a warm Spring day knowing that I get to play two games. The smell of the grass, the warmth of the sun, and the sounds of the ball on the bat and in the glove.
2. Running out of the tunnel in the All-City gym to a packed crowd and the pep band playing "25 or 6 to 4". Don't know why I remember that song, but that's what they played.
Amber (VanZanten) Wierenga
Sports played in high school: Soccer 1989-1991, Cheerleading 1989-1991
The effect of high school sports on your high school experience: I loved participating in high school sports! I made great friends and learned a lot about pushing oneself and teamwork.
The impact of being a high school athlete on your life today: Playing sports helped me develop a perseverance and grit that carries into almost any situation in life.
Faith and sports intersecting in high school: Team prayer was always an important part of the experience for both practice and games. Looking back, I realize how much I appreciated having coaches and teammates who shared the same love for God as I did.
Hardest part of playing high school sports: It was just so much fun. If it was difficult...it was worth it!
Favorite memory: I don't know that I have a favorite memory, but rather many lots of nostalgic feelings. I remember grinding through Coach Klaasen yelling throughout the games to "get after it" but having the biggest smile when we pulled through. I laugh when I think about trying to get the cheer dance routine approved by Bokhoven for Homecoming week...things were a little more reserved back then!